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Day 803

Why is thanks so difficult?

‘I’ll visit her in the evening while you’re away in M.’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘You don’t have to thank me.’ That licks me like a flame. ‘Why not? We’re working as a team to look after Ma and you’re helping me out. You look after her finances and I thank you for doing that too.’ ‘I don’t expect to be thanked.’ ‘Well, I do. I do a lot and I expect to be thanked. What’s the problem with you? Have you got no compassion or empathy? Don’t you see what a burden it is looking after Ma so if anyone does anything for Ma I’m grateful.’ I am shouting down the phone. Spit is going everywhere. I am shaking with rage. ‘I can’t take you shouting at me. It is really terrible to have you do this to me.’’Good bye. Have a great weekend,’ I say, hanging up before he does.

I am furious. Self righteous prig. He won’t be thanked because it is not for me to thank him. He is doing this for his mother, not for me. I want him to accept that he needs to help me. He regards my care of Ma as my choice, my responsibility.

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  • runcicle runcicle
    4 weeks ago

    Suppose when you went to Edinburgh with Apple and Peachy that Beloved had said 'I won't come with you and thanks for taking them'.

    Would you not have raised an eyebrow; at the very least?

    Firstly because that's just not like him and secondly, and more pointedly, that would imply that it's really his job to go with them and you're doing him a favour. Whereas you want to see it as a favour to Apple and Peachy and want to be appreciated by them and do not want it to be seen as a favour to Beloved.

    If you then said to Beloved that you did not want to be thanked for something that you regarded as a gift to Apple and Peachy would you expect him to think of you as a self-righteous prig?

    Likewise, James' visit is a gift to Ma, not to you. Your very act of saying 'Thank-you' changes it from being his gift to Ma, which is how he regards it, into a chore that he is relieving you of doing, which is how you regard it.

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  • George Smith George Smith
    4 weeks ago

    To draw a parallel between my relationship with Beloved and James and my children and Ma is misguided and distracting. They have nothing to do with each other.

    What I need James to recognise is that his visit to Ma should not be just about himself and Ma. I am the one who enables him to be able to see his visits as a gift rather than a chore. His visit while I am away is not simply a gift, it is necessary for Ma's happiness during that time. That he is prepared to make that effort to come down from London in the evening during the week I am away I am grateful for. He will make that effort because I am not around. It's perfectly reasonable for me to say thank you. It is not reasonable for him not to accept my thanks and to make out it is purely about him and Ma. That is not the way it is and we need to work as a team.

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